Interactive Whiteboard CPD for Schools and Colleges
Jan20

Interactive Whiteboard CPD for Schools and Colleges

As well as blogging about technology in education, I am also a freelance interactive whiteboard trainer, specialising in Smart and Promethean boards.  I regularly deliver bespoke training sessions on how to use interactive whiteboards in schools and colleges around the UK as well as overseas. In addition to schools, I am able to deliver courses for Military and Corporate customers. I’m also happy to deliver training to Initial Teacher Training institutions, getting student teachers up to speed on these important tools before they begin their teaching careers. I am an accredited Smart Masters trainer for SMART Notebook as well as SMART meeting Pro. I am also happy to deliver training on Promethean boards – and can cover ActivInspire, ActivPrimary and/or ActivStudio. I can deliver training on ProWise Presenter too. Other training sessions are available, such as blogging, podcasting, coding, animation, digital storytelling and aspects of other web 2.0 technologies. I can also run sessions on how to use iPads in the classroom. I can tailor sessions to the particular needs of your school. For Primary schools I can also run I can also run sessions looking at how to teach the new National Curriculum for Science, or how best to use ICT to support the teaching of Science, including datalogging and using iPads. You can find out more on the Courses page. If your school or college is in need of training, then please get in touch and we can discuss options....

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Whiteboard Blog Review of the Year : Top 10 Posts of 2013
Jan02

Whiteboard Blog Review of the Year : Top 10 Posts of 2013

As we begin 2014, just a quick blog post to cast a look back over the last 12 months and to highlight the top 10 posts from 2013. My blogging suffered a little during 2013 as I worked on my Masters Dissertation, but I’ll be a little more focused for 2014 now that’s out of the way. Here are the top 10 most-read posts for 2013: 1. How to connect your iPad to your Interactive Whiteboard 2. 6 Creative Tools for Displaying Learning Objectives 3. 8 iPad apps to Teach Coding and Programming 4. Classroom Timers for your Interactive Whiteboard 5. Allow student collaboration with your SMARTboard with the XC Add-On 6. Getting Started with your Interactive Whiteboard : A quick guide 7. 10 Tools for Creating Class Puzzles and Quizzes 8. Anatomy 4D – An Augmented Reality Human Body App for IOS 9. iOS Apps for Science Teachers : Teaching about Sound 10. 10 Creative iPad Apps for Digital Storytelling in Class I’d just like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your continued support over the last 12 months. Thanks for all those who retweet links on Twitter and share on Pinterest and Scoop.it etc. It’s very much appreciated. Have a very happy 2014!...

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The Whiteboard Blog is 5 years old : Top posts of 2012
Dec04

The Whiteboard Blog is 5 years old : Top posts of 2012

The Whiteboard Blog is 5 years old! I can’t believe how time has flown. When I started I wasn’t sure I’d be able to keep blogging regularly enough, but I’ve stuck at it and, apart from the odd period of writers block or extreme workload, have managed to keep the blog posts coming. Over the years the number of hits per day has steadily grown until last week I had to finally bite the bullet and move to a dedicated server as my webhost was complaining about the bandwidth the blog was using! As part of my usual round up of the last 12 months, here are the top 10 most-read posts from this year: An introductory guide to iPads for Teachers Using an iPad as an alternative to an interactive whiteboard Show your iPad on your IWB screen Interactive Whiteboards #101 : A short primer How to embed YouTube clips into PowerPoint Teaching Appz – a guide to great educational apps for teachers Smart Notebook 11 : Activity Builder Tutorial 9 YouTube Tips and Tricks for Teachers Socrative – class quizzes and polling via any device Promethean ActivEngage Mobile – Voting on iPads and other devices And as part of a wider round up, here are some posts from the archive that still got plenty of readers this year: Free online graph paper generator 8 Great Online Presentation Tools 16 Avatar Generators for Profile Pictures and more 10 Tools for Digital Storytelling in Class 11 Ideas for Music Lessons on your Interactive Whiteboard 12 Puzzle and Quiz Creation Tools for Teachers 8 Word Cloud Makers for Teachers Ten Twitter Tips for Teachers Music Shake – free online music creator Thanks to everyone who’s read and commented on my blog posts over the last year, and a very big thanks to all of you who have retweeted and shared these posts with your followers and colleagues. Looking forward to sharing more stuff with you over the next 12 months (and 5 years!)  ...

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Summer Hiatus
Jul31

Summer Hiatus

You may have noticed a slight drop in blog posts over the last fortnight, I’m taking a bit of a summer hiatus for a few weeks. There’s a small sporting event taking place in London right now (you might have heard of it!) which is taking up a lot of my time parked in front of the TV. I’m also trying to finish my latest assignment for my M.Ed, which is also causing a lot of distractions, oh and I’m also off to Iceland for a week. There may be the odd sporadic post if I find anything that’s really blog-worthy. Normal service will be resumed in late August. Have a good Summer break!...

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Learning Spot Lessons Giveaway – The Winners
Jun18

Learning Spot Lessons Giveaway – The Winners

A few weeks back I ran a competition to win some free resources from Learning Spot Lessons / Carson Dellosa. The random number generator has chosen 5 lucky winners, who are: MaryEileen Rufkahr Heather Temske S Prihar Roy Bird Jan Wells Someone from Learning Spot will be in touch via email with details on how to download your free unit. Congratulations to the winners. If you didn’t win, you can still register and download a free taster unit from the Learning Spot website here.  ...

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An Ed Tech Blog Carnival 2012 : Call for submissions
Jan16

An Ed Tech Blog Carnival 2012 : Call for submissions

Update – the carnival post can be found here After running an Education Tech Blog Carnival last year, I put the idea on the back burner for a while. Having met up with a few bloggers over the weekend I’ve decided to have another go. So here’s the idea: Any blogger who is in the field of education (teacher, librarian, adviser, consultant etc) and is interested in technology writes a blog post about something related to technology in education to be part of the carnival. Please add a link to this blogpost and say it’s part of the Blog Carnival – that way your readers can find other posts in the carnival They then email me (danny at think-bank dot com) with the URL of their blog post and a sentence to describe what it’s about. Or you can leave a comment below this blog post with the same information. The blog post could be about a tool you’ve used, could be some tips, could be a reflection on the state of technology in education or a prediction of the future, or could be sharing good work that your pupils are producing. Anything you feel like sharing! This doesn’t have to be a major blog post, but it should be more than just a collection of links or a plug for their own product. When I’ve added the carnival post – please amend the link in your blog post to point to that carnival post so that your readers can see the other posts taking part in the blog carnival. The closing date for URLs is 12 Noon GMT Sunday 29th January. So you’ve got two weeks to have a think about something you want to share and write about. Which should be plenty of time, I hope. I will then write a blog post that links to all the blog posts in the carnival and promote it on Twitter etc. Hopefully our readers will discover new blogs they hadn’t seen before. Here’s how it worked last year. Next time, someone else can “host” it and receive all the urls.. and so on. We could do this monthly, or quarterly or whatever. Let’s try this and see how it goes. Update – the carnival post can be found here...

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Merry Christmas from the Whiteboard Blog
Dec22

Merry Christmas from the Whiteboard Blog

It’s that time of year again! Wishing all my readers a very merry Christmas and a very happy new year. Thanks for all your support over the past 12 months, and here’s to 2012!  ...

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Another year of the Whiteboard Blog – Top 10 posts of 2011
Dec05

Another year of the Whiteboard Blog – Top 10 posts of 2011

The Whiteboard Blog is 4 years old today! So as it gets another year older, so it’s time for another review of some of the more popular blog posts of the past year, in case you missed them the first time around. Here are the top 10 posts on the blog, in terms of hits, since December 2010. 20 Interactive Whiteboard Resources for Teachers Free online graph paper generator 11 Ideas for Music Lessons on your Interactive Whiteboard 8 Word Cloud Makers for Teachers 12 Puzzle and Quiz Creation Tools for Teachers Ten Twitter Tips for Teachers Lesson Starter Ideas for your Whiteboard 10 (more) Science Websites for your Interactive Whiteboard 10 avatar generators for profile pictures 10 Tools for Digital Storytelling in Class Thanks to everyone who’s read and commented on my blog posts over the last year, and a big thanks to all of you who have retweeted and shared these posts with your followers and colleagues. Looking forward to sharing more stuff with you over the next 12 months! Photo Credit : Theresa Thompson...

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Soft Power Education – Uganda Volunteer Project
Nov19

Soft Power Education – Uganda Volunteer Project

A quick plug. The daughter of a friend of mine was raising money for the Soft Power Education charity on Thursday at the Collaborate for Change Event. I’d just like to do a quick post to raise awareness of the charity. Soft Power Education is working with communities in Uganda to improve quality of life through education. Our funding comes from overland groups, independent travellers and sponsors from around the world. Every single penny donated to Soft Power Education goes towards refurbishing and upgrading the schools involved in the programme; the running costs of the two pre-schools; running the Amagezi Education Centre; continuing the work in Murchison; buying building materials and paying for Ugandan labour and staff. This is the sixth year that Middlesex university student-led project has joined with Soft Power and last years trip raised £13000 which renovated two primary schools during the month they were out there. This year they hope to continue the success and are looking to raise £650 per person for Soft Power Education which will enable them to complete two more primary schools in the summer of 2012. If you are interested in sponsoring or donating towards the flight costs, or donating to the charity, then you can find out more via this page. More information about the Soft Power Education charity can be found here : http://softpowereducation.com/...

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Interactive Whiteboard Training from Think Bank
Oct17

Interactive Whiteboard Training from Think Bank

A short commecial plug. I’ve mentioned before that I am a freelance interactive whiteboard trainer – I specialise in the main on delivering training in Interactive Whiteboards (Smart/Promethean) and also on Science training for teachers and student teachers. As an interactive whiteboard trainer I regularly deliver bespoke training sessions on how to use interactive whiteboards in schools and colleges around the UK plus overseas. I’ve also deliver courses for Military and Corporate customers. One of the things I really enjoy doing is going into universities to deliver introductory whiteboard sessions to PGCE students studying to be teachers. Institutions where I have delivered this kind of training include Kings College London and Anglia Ruskin University. So if you are in need of interactive whiteboard training, then please get in touch. I am an accredited Smart Masters trainer for SMART Notebook v10 and SMART meeting Pro. I am also happy to deliver training on Promethean boards – for ActivInspire, ActivPrimary and/or ActivStudio. I can also offer training on voting systems such as Smart Response, ActiVote/ActivExpression and Turning Point and also on Visualisers and their use in the classroom. In addition I also run non-whiteboard sessions, such as blogging, podcasting, animation, digital storytelling and web 2.0 technologies. With my science hat on I can also run sessions looking in general at the use of ICT in Science, or a particular focus on datalogging. You can find  find out more on the Courses page, or check out the Think Bank website. Here are some quotes from a recent Interactive Whiteboard training day: “Fantastic – I learnt more today than on my PGCE” “An extremely useful and enjoyable day” “Very Impressed. Possibly the best course I’ve ever attended” “Lots of really great ideas. New skills learned, others revised. Lots of thinking about application. Great” “A great beginning to my interactive adventure” If your school or college is in need of training, then please get in touch and we can discuss options. Get in touch via the contact form here....

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Technology Back in 1990. How Things Have Changed
Sep27

Technology Back in 1990. How Things Have Changed

As students head back to university, and the ritual that is Fresher’s Week begins again, I’m reminded that it’s now 21 years since a rather nervous student made his way up to Birmingham University to start a degree in Biological Science. And it got me thinking about how the technology available to those students starting today is a whole world away. So yes I’ve now reached the stage when I can make students feel like I did when my father in law talks about his days feeding punch cards into computers when he was a lad. Nobody had a computer in their room. The only computers available to us were in the Biology building. Very basic terminals which we very rarely used. I can remember having one or two sessions in there for some kind of biological statistics module. I can also remember a friend showing how he could get access to a network in America – and I remember being concerned that it must be costing a fortune to do so – looking back I think it was some JANET system. It wasn’t until we moved out of halls of residence and into a student house that I brought my Atari ST computer up with me and used that for word processing essays. My third year dissertation and final project were all produced on that Atari ST. My girlfriend (now Mrs Nic) brought over a hulking great 186 of her stepfathers and used that. Real cutting edge tech (I can remember playing Lemmings, Humans and Stunt Island on it though… quality games). This was a year before the Internet as we know it began with the launch of the World Wide Web. No Facebook, email to keep in touch with friends and family. No Skype. Twitter. News came from a newspaper or that pinnacle of technology Ceefax/Teletext. No television on-demand with iPlayer or 4OD. We had 4 channels on our telly and a slightly dodgy VHS player. And of course, this was well before the age of the mobile phone. We used to have to queue up in the foyer of our hall of residence (Mason Hall, now sadly flattened) and use the payphones. We’d ring home, quickly give the number to ring back on and hope someone elses parents didn’t ring before yours could…. A mobile phone would have seemed like the best invention ever. A smartphone would have been unbelieveable – and an iPad would have been something out of Star Trek. And research was carried out at the library. And pretty much only at the library. Hmm.. this is turning into a Four Yorkshiremen sketch…....

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Is joined up writing a dying art? Should we care?
Sep19

Is joined up writing a dying art? Should we care?

This was a story from that bastion of Middle England the Daily Mail over the weekend, essentially bemoaning the fact that pupils cannot do joined up writing since they spend too long on a keyboard. So is this a problem? The Daily Mail regularly turns the fact that “things aren’t what they used to be” into a news story – so they’re obviously going to jump on this kind of thing. Plus there are always going to be people who are resistant to change. That any step forward is bad because we lose touch with an older way of doing things. It’s times like this I’m reminded of these quotes (see Karl Fisch’s “What If” presentation for more) which I’ve used before. Students today can’t prepare bark to calculate their problems. They depend on their slates which are more expensive. What will they do when the slate is dropped and it breaks? They will be unable to write! Teacher’s Conference 1703 Students today depend on paper too much. They don’t know how to write on a slate without getting chalk dust all over themselves. They can’t clean a slate properly. What will they do when they run out of paper? Principal’s Association 1815 Ballpoint pens will be the ruin of education in our country. Students use these devices and then throw them away. The American values of thrift and frugality are being discarded. Business and banks will never allow such expensive luxuries. Federal Teachers 1950 My own handwriting is pretty awful most of the time if I’m writing in a hurry, and I have never been able to use a fountain pen properly due to the cack-handed way I hold a pen. My school spent a lot of time worrying about this – when all they needed to do was let me use a ballpoint pen… problem solved. And this isn’t a new thing – I remember once spending ages with my parents trying to decipher the scribbles that my elderly year 4 teacher had written on my school report – turns out it said “Handwriting is still a problem”… But thinking about how much handwriting I do these days, is it a concern? I blog, write letters, send emails, use Twitter – all via a keyboard. I text and tweet via my iPhone. (OK – I was forced to use a fountain pen to sign my marriage licence, and it does look like a three legged ink-coated spider has crawled across the page.. and for that I do apologise to Mrs Nic) The only time I really use a pen is for short notes on training forms when...

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